For the first time in recent memory, the minimum purse at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has fallen under $8,000 because of a purse reduction.
The 10% purse reduction takes effect Aug. 14. There had been plans to cut purses by 20%, but horsemen at the West Virginia track objected.
Maiden special weight races in the next condition book call for a purse of $19,600, but that figure is now $17,600. The lowest purse, for $5,000 maiden claimers, drops from $8,200 to $7,400.
Purses at Mountaineer rely heavily on revenue from video lottery terminals, but the percentage fluctuates because of state-mandated contributions to a workers’ compensation program. Purses now get 7%-14% depending on the time of year rather than a consistent 14% as contained in the original VLT legislation.
On Aug. 7 Mountaineer paid more than $1.5 million on its all-stakes West Virginia Derby (gr. II) program.